Thank You For Being a Friend

February 13th, 2013

Remember how I complained about January? Well! February is equally sucktastic, if not worse. I always forget this, even when people tell me. “Oh, January isn’t bad, it’s FEBRUARY.” And I nod and smile and I’m like, mmhm, sure, but no, they are right. February blows. Look, on a relative scale of suck, it’s not terrible. We’re healthy and happy and warm and nothing truly awful is happening, it’s just you get up every day and OH LOOK, SNOW, and the sun doesn’t come out and errrrrrrrghhhh. Sunrise, sunset, school, routine, BLOODY DINNERTIME, because suddenly everyone expects to eat every day or something, and then we go to bed, read a bad book (MORE ON THAT IN A MINUTE) and get up to do it all over again.

I’ve already signed up for the pool next summer, that’s how desperate I am to imagine sunshine and brighter days and, let us all hope, a child who doesn’t collapse face first down the pool stairs like she did LAST summer — AT A POOL PARTY — leaving me to leap after her fully dressed, then take my dress OFF, as it was soaking wet. Yes, I was wearing my bathing suit. This wouldn’t be a big deal except that I was literally six weeks postpartum to the DAY, and I don’t know about you or really anyone, but unless you’re Gisele Bundchen, being in a SWIMSUIT six weeks after evacuating a watermelon from your midsection is not all that appealing. But since then, we have discovered the Puddle Jumper, and life has new meaning and hope.

Wah wah wah, you’d think I wasn’t terribly overprivileged or something, GOD. SHUT UP.

The funny thing is that I LIKE winter. I LIKE the seasons. Florida depressed me with its never-ending sunshine and bright days and sometimes I stepped outside and was completely blinded like a flipping newborn calf, because it was so sunny! All the time! Except when it was pouring, but usually, really, always with the sunny, and then you take it for granted and the sunshine, it just disappears into the background.

Four paragraphs on weather! NEW LOW!

Hey, did I tell you guys that Allie never really did take a bottle? Yeah. She didn’t. And I thought it would be as angsty and fraught and haaaard as it was with Sam, and believe me, I have moments, but for the most part it isn’t a big deal. She’s pretty reliable with when/how she needs to eat and sleep, so I just build my social life around that. I like how I just said social life as though I have a rich one, but hey, a girl can dream. But really! Not terrible. Ask me again in five months, when I just want to escape to the spa for an entire afternoon, but frankly, I think finances will be more of a roadblock to that endeavor than my boobs.

It does make me realize, however, that I think that I really am truly happy with stopping at two kids. I love every phase — I LOVE having a baby in the house, and in a lot of ways, this is my dream job, this stage of caring for two little kids. It is sort of embarrassing to say that, but I do enjoy being with them so, so much.

But. I think of starting it all over again, and continuing this period of adjustment AGAIN and having another summer of shoving an infant in the shade and missing NINE WHOLE MONTHS of my children’s lives because I’m too sick to do anything, and I just . . . no. I think I want more out of life with the two I have, and their little childhoods are going SO FAST, and I want to be here for every second of it. Not that I wouldn’t be with a third, I just think I’m ready to accept — happily — that it’s time to move on. I want to focus on them, not focus my energy on adding someone who, if I’m honest, doesn’t quite seem like they belong. Allie and Sam. They are supposed to be here, and I knew they were missing. I honestly don’t feel like someone is missing. This is who we are, and I feel really peaceful about it, no matter how many times I poke at it these days. Any thoughts to the contrary were — are — hormonally driven. Thanks, biology, for the mindfuck! Perhaps there is some truth to the idea that men cheat to spread their seed, because I really did feel an urge to have ALLLLL the babies, even though that’s not what I want.

(Let’s hope Kate Upton doesn’t show up at our door asking for a nooner with Adam anytime soon, hmmm?)

I’m surprised how many feelings that gives me in the mortality department, however. Do you guys remember that Golden Girls episode (I know you do), when Blanche thought she was pregnant, but it turned out to be menopause and she just FLIPPED HER SHIT? Like, I get that. I don’t even know WHY I get that, because it’s not like my fertility is so robust, or that I am of the mind that parenthood can only be achieved biologically, but it’s oddly bizarre to say, well, that time of my life is over and it’s never coming back! Next babies to hit our family will be grandchildren.

This is why I have a flipping GOBLET of Trader Joe’s white zin on my night table right now, because even though I have a no-shit infant in the next room, and I am HAPPY with my decision to leave my family exactly as it is, I am suddenly feeling like I have one foot in the grave, and should just throw in the towel now. (I’m only 37!) (Haaa, only, fuck.)  Also, side note: Blanche took a pregnancy test and ended up with some weird test tube that changed color to PUCE. Puce. It wasn’t even that long ago, but God, they were one step removed from killing a rabbit, right? No ClearBlue Easy up in the 1980s, I guess. They had test tubes! Which . . . now that I think about it, were we supposed to ignore that Blanche was showing everyone a tiny vial of her urine? Oh gross. (I feel this way about people who display/show actual pee sticks live and in person, which happens more often than you’d think. No, I don’t want to hold it. You peed on it. I’m okay.)

Two things about the Golden Girls: Once, I called my mom a slut in the YMCA pool. I legit thought it was a term of endearment, because they called Blanche that all the time! Haa! My mom did not think so! That was a good time, and I believe it earned me a shocked crack across the face. And second, Blanche used to talk about housing whipped cream in her bedroom, and I VERY DISTINCTLY REMEMBER asking my mom what that meant. Her reply? “I don’t know.” I know now that OH SHE KNEW ALRIGHT. But I guess there really is no appropriate answer for a nine-year-old in that context, and suddenly I feel very dirty and awkward for watching the Golden Girls at nine, but I assure you, the sexytime jokes went right over my head.

Ugh, my poor mom.

Anyway, February! It breeds discontent and deep mortal thoughts of puce. I mean, the Golden Girls ARE ALL DEAD EXCEPT FOR ROSE, who is ninety-two, FFS. The retirement home is calling my name. Also, Blanche thought she was pregnant at fucking what, 55? Dear shit.

And finally, in amusing news, I made a few changes on my site (not a redesign, although Jesus God, I did this in 2005. HAAA, MODERN), and when I checked to see if they worked, I noticed that my ads weren’t loading. I give about thismuch thought to ads except when I get a (very tiny) check in the mail once in a while, and not really with any regularity. So! I did what any industrious blogger would do, and emailed my ad network to see if it was me or them.

You guys, they stopped serving ads in November. HAHAHA. I JUST NOW NOTICED, and ONLY BECAUSE I DID AN UPGRADE AND WAS LOOKING FOR PROBLEMS. Monetization: a high priority for the jonniker empire! Next up: MUGS.

Have a great Thursday! Valentine’s Day! We’re making baby pies. Or buying them. Or just maybe thinking about pie. We’ll see.

*I don’t even need to, right?

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Entry Filed under: Alex the Grace,Beeber McSteebs

48 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jesabes  |  February 13th, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    I’m with you on the saying I’m done practically means I have one foot in the grave thing. We’re trying to decide whether to have a third and when I think about not doing it it just seems like…really? It’s over? I’m done with all of that? So am I dying tomorrow then, or what?

  • 2. Emily  |  February 13th, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    “Next up: MUGS” made me laugh so hard I woke the baby. WORTH IT!

  • 3. Erin Morrow  |  February 13th, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Ugh, so totally get it. My thing is, I really don’t WANT another baby (we have 3 boys, 6,4,1-and two of them are moderately special needs). But I just don’t know what I’m supposed to DO if I’m done. I like being at home a lot, and I just don’t feel pulled toward any certain type of work. But I really don’t want to be pregnant anymore. But I don’t want to move on to the “next stage” either. Blergh. Hey, thanks for letting me word vomit in your comments! Also I was legitimately very sad when all 3 Golden Girls died (as in, people who knew me called/ messaged me to see if I was okay. I adore that show). P.S. I have always hated broccoli, but after seeing you rave about roasting it I did so and I could NOT stop eating it. It was so, so delicious. So thanks for that!

  • 4. Swistle  |  February 14th, 2013 at 6:30 am

    I no longer want any more kids—and yet when it came time to make a decision on Permanent Birth Control, I DID NOT WANT IT TO BE ME.

    Then there was a fresh wave of whatever that feeling is, when I realized it WOULD be me, BIOLOGICALLY speaking, VERY SOON. THE CHOICE WILL BE REMOVED. Even though I have no intention of taking advantage of that choice, it makes me feel icky to think of it NOT BEING THERE.

  • 5. el-e-e  |  February 14th, 2013 at 7:08 am

    I can’t believe you just got that damn song stuck in my head.

  • 6. Jess  |  February 14th, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Oh I’m with you on the deciding not to have any more kids and feeling like it’s the end of an era. I think it’s the point in life where you stop adding new exciting things and begin the downslope of aging. Up until now we’ve been starting careers and families and now we raise and send off our kids and work jobs until retirement. Wow that sounds depressing. But I get it. And between my 2nd and 3rd I had almost a panic of anxiety because I’M NOT READY! ACK! HAVE ANOTHER BABY! But now I feel so much like you said: we’re all here. And I’m excited for what’s next:sending them all to school, having some jobs/career of my own, spending time with my husband again as the kids become less intense.
    And: Golden Girls. Love it. My mom was embarrassed as all hell when we would watch it and I never quite got it. But I do now and love love that show!

  • 7. H  |  February 14th, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I work with a woman from Jamaica. Although we have never met, we speak frequently on the phone. During a recent conversation we discussed our respective accents and she told me she imagined me to be like her favorite TV character, Rose Nylund, because I’m from Minnesota! I knew she meant it in only the nicest way, but it made me laugh so hard because I am feeling old (I turned 50 1/2 two days ago) but … ROSE NYLUND?!

    Also, when I was young(er) (8 years old?), I heard a word used in a way that didn’t make sense to me. I told my friend, who asked her mom what the word meant. Her mom’s answer: CAT. As in: p**** cat. And now? I die every time I think of that!

    I agree about January AND February. Doldrums, I tell you!

  • 8. Pat  |  February 14th, 2013 at 9:31 am

    MUGS! I’d buy!

  • 9. Sarah  |  February 14th, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Ah yes, the old men are driven to spread their seed theory. Except… I do buy it. Especially given how my kids all look more or less like tiny miniature husbands. He’s practically got a clone army! Who wouldn’t want to keep that ball rolling?!
    I think some people experience that biological imperative thing more intensely than others- who knows why-and the idea of just shutting off that part of their body feels very strange and disconnected and almost robotic. Almost like you’re doing something very weird and unnatural to the sexual side of your nature. (This is where my husband would be, and many of my friends.)
    Others seem so excited to get childbearing over with and “move on” to normal life again. If I’m being honest it turns out I’m more in the “let’s move on” camp, but I also completely, completely understand the “let’s have a baby every couple of years indefinitely” camp and I always THOUGHT that’s how I’d feel. I thought I’d end up with eight kids because I’d love childbearing so much. Hah.

  • 10. Cait  |  February 14th, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you for putting into words exactly what I am feeling (including about winter, and not having REAL problems, but just feeling blah!). When the hub brings up how to ensure we are DONE WITH KIDS again, I will direct him to this post to explain how I feel. We are DONE, I agree, but do we need to cement the door?! It’s totally 100% that “one foot in the grave” thing. As in “well shit, NOW what?!” Thank you for this post.

  • 11. Angela (@Aferg22)  |  February 14th, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Oh, this made me laugh so many times! I am sorry you are having a tough winter, and I have to admit that I Twitter stalked you after the blizzard, hoping that you didn’t lose power. :-)

    We stopped with one kiddo after trying for a second for a while, and even though I know with all of my being that one child is right for us, it makes me mad that I didn’t REALLY get to make the choice. Stupid infertile body and stupid biological urges. And now that I have turned 40, there is really no going back to revisit it. My mom had my brother when she was 41, so obviously it isn’t impossible, but I just can’t wrap my mind around going back to that.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • 12. Audrey  |  February 14th, 2013 at 11:23 am

    My all time low was blogging about plants. PLANTS, of all things to write about. In other news, I too can not wait for spring and summer. Winter blows.

  • 13. TUWABVB  |  February 14th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    I just legitimately snorted at the story about your mom at the YMCA. That is priceless.

    Also, that was my husband’s only response as to why he didn’t want to name our second dog Blanche. I wanted that name so bad but he said “Blanche was easy.” Sigh.

  • 14. LizScott  |  February 14th, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    ugh, I hate persistently sunny weather. Which is kind of a chafe, if you’re me, as I live in Denver (…ish) and we get 300 days of sunshine a year. Which is basically all freaking year. IT IS AGGRESSIVELY SUNNY AND YES, I AM COMPLAINING ABOUT IT.

  • 15. jive turkey  |  February 14th, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I absolutely remember that Golden Girls episode, and I TOTALLY sympathize with Blanche. Once I realized I would no longer be making babies with the ol’ ladyparts, I was like oh hey, NEXT STOP MENOPAUSE, and that’s kinda sobering.

  • 16. Lauren E. E.  |  February 14th, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    I once asked my mom about a conversation the Golden Girls were having on whether or not it was okay to “make love” during the day. I wanted to know why you could only love people at night. I have no idea what response my mother gave me, but I do know she said I shouldn’t watch the Golden Girls anymore.

  • 17. Karen  |  February 14th, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I do not remember that episode but certainly now feel compelled to track it down.

    Being done with anything is hard, I think. I was done trying for a second child a few years ago, but now that I’m nearly 46 (so yes, you get to say “only 37″ without irony), I KNOW I’m done and it’s a whole new suitcase full of feelings. I don’t think I realized how much I liked those few years where I could say I was done but then think to myself, “but we could totally start trying again if we wanted to.”

  • 18. K  |  February 14th, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I’m still laughing that you called your mom a “slut.” That’s pretty awesome.

    (Still kind of laughing.)

  • 19. Corinne  |  February 15th, 2013 at 10:15 am

    I’m not much of a commenter but I had to tell you that I laughed out loud like 6 times at this post. There may have been spit on my monitor. So yes, February is pretty suckola, but thanks for turning it into laughs for me. :)

  • 20. HereWeGoAJen  |  February 15th, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I still want to have all the babies. I might too. If the rest of you are all stopping, someone owes it to twitter to keep the cute babies coming.

  • 21. Christine  |  February 15th, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Is it weird that I would buy your mug? someone else’s mug? feh – but yours, in a heartbeat.

    Weird.

    I have no bebes, so I’ve got nothing on that front, but I totally relate to hating the incessant sun in Florida and yet feeling downright murderous come February. I should really invest in one of those sunshiney happy lamps that they sell for people (people like ME) who have Seasonal Affective Disorder.

  • 22. Lara  |  February 15th, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    You know I don’t have kids, but in some ways I can relate. I … I think I’m having a mid-life crisis. UGH. I KNOW. I know. So lame. But seriously.

    Turning 40 seemed like a big deal to me, and then it just WASN’T, but the last year or so I just feel so – I don’t know, REMOVED from people who are just a few years younger than me in a way I didn’t before.

    It’s like, when I was 35 and friends were 30 or so. OK. Same decade. Same “young family” or “starting out” feeling, you know? And now all of a sudden I feel very NOT young and WHOA I want to retire in 20 years and holy shit, when did I flip from “starting out” to “retirement planning”? What the fuck? What just happened?

    It’s ridiculous, because TONS of my friends are my age and have young families and I am STILL closer to that generation than the generation of people having grandchildren but somehow my mind seems to feel like I belong up with the old folks.

    Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids. Maybe if I had a 7 or 8 year old right now I’d still feel “young family” and not “ready to retire”. Or maybe kids grow up so fast you feel it even faster? I have no idea.

    See? Mid-life crisis. DAMN.

  • 23. Sarah Park  |  February 17th, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Life is still good no matter how it sucks at times. Hope you had a wonderful Valentines Day.

  • 24. Hanh Mccallister  |  February 18th, 2013 at 3:13 am

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  • 25. EmilysHollow  |  February 18th, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    So I was the most sheltered churchy girl in the history of EVER and on a family vacation once when I was about 11 or 12, about eleventy gazillion hours into the road trip, my dad said something annoying. Well, annoying to 12 year old me, which means he spoke, and I replied with a funny (HA! FUNNY!) word I’d heard the cool kids throw around at school, “Don’t be such a prick, Dad.”

    OH, MAN. The breaks worked, in case you were wondering. AND HOW.

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